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Best of 2019: My Personal Oscar Ballot

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BEST OF 2019: The 2019 film year was both enlightening and challenging. Relating to my own personal life, and connecting it to the movies and shows viewed, there were spiritual awakenings and messages in almost every piece of art I came into contact, even in things that were considered “less than,” something was taken away by credit’s end.

If you listened to anything from the site’s podcasts, you’ve heard me state this is the single best year of film since 2013, 2006, and the historic 1994. Everyone saved their best stuff for the end of the decade and we all benefited greatly.

On a personal note, and as someone who has battled through one of the toughest years emotionally, thank you to every person who is or is not reading this for their love and support.

My personal winners, with Top 10 films placed in order will be announced on Friday. For the readers, the Awards Circuit Community Awards for 2019 opens for nomination voting on Monday (Oscar nomination morning).

All my admiration is down below:

Best Motion Picture
“1917” (Universal Pictures)
“The Farewell” (A24)
“Joker” (Warner Bros.)
“Knives Out” (Lionsgate)
“Luce” (NEON)
“Parasite” (NEON)
“Toy Story 4” (Pixar)
“The Two Popes” (Netflix)
“Us” (Universal Pictures)
“Waves” (A24)

Best Director
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Fernando Meirelles, “The Two Popes”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Jordan Peele, “Us”
Trey Edward Schultz, “Waves”

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Kelvin Harrison, Jr, “Luce”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Matthew Rhys, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Sterling K. Brown, “Waves”
Dean-Charles Chapman, “1917”
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”
John Lithgow, “Bombshell”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”
Thomasin McKenzie, “Jojo Rabbit”
Taylor Russell, “Waves”
Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”
Octavia Spencer, “Luce”

Best Original Screenplay
“1917” – Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Calms
“The Farewell” – Lulu Wang
“Knives Out” – Rian Johnson
“Parasite” – Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin Won
“Us” – Jordan Peele

Best Adapted Screenplay
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster
“The Irishman” – Steven Zaillian
“Joker” – Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
“Luce” – J.C. Lee, Julius Onah
“The Two Popes” – Anthony McCarten

Best Production Design
“1917” – Dennis Gasner, Lee Sandales
“Joker” – Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran
“Knives Out” – David Crank, David Schlesinger
“The Two Popes” – Mark Tildesley, Veronique Melery
“Us” – Ruth De Jong, Florencia Martin

Best Cinematography
“1917” – Roger Deakins
“Ad Astra” – Hoyte van Hoytema
“The Irishman” – Rodrigo Prieto
“Joker” – Lawrence Sher
“Us” – Mike Gioulakis

Best Costume Design
“Aladdin” – Michael Wilkinson
“Jojo Rabbit” – Mayes C. Rubeo
“Little Women” – Jacqueline Durran
“Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” – Arianne Phillips
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” – Dorothée Guiraud

Best Film Editing
“1917” – Lee Smith
“Apollo 11” – Todd Douglas Miller
“Ford v Ferrari” – Michael McCusker
“Uncut Gems” – Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie
“Us” – Nicholas Monsour

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Aeronauts”
“Ash is Purest White”
“The Two Popes”

Best Sound Mixing
“Ad Astra”
“Ford v Ferrari”

Best Sound Editing
“The Aeronauts”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”

Best Visual Effects
“Ad Astra”
“The Aeronauts”
“Frozen II”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Best Original Score
“1917” – Thomas Newman
“The Aeronauts” – Steven Price
“Joker” – Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Motherless Brooklyn” – Daniel Pemberton
“Us” – Michael Abels

Best Song From/Used In a Motion Picture
“Lost in the Woods” from “Frozen II”
“Show Yourself” from “Frozen II”
“Lights” from “Teen Spirit”
“The Ballad of a Lonesome Cowboy” from “Toy Story 4”
“I Got 5 On It” from “Us”

Best Cast Ensemble
“The Farewell”
“Knives Out”

Best Animated Feature
“Frozen II” (Pixar)
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” (Warner Bros.)
“I Lost My Body” (Netflix)
“Missing Link” (Laika)
“Toy Story 4” (Pixar)

Best Documentary Feature
“American Factory” (Netflix)
“Apollo 11” (NEON)
“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” (Netflix)
“Knock Down the House” (Netflix)
“One Child Nation” (Amazon Studios)

Best Stunt Ensemble
“The Aeronauts” (Amazon Studios)
“Avengers: Endgame” (Marvel)
“Captain Marvel” (Marvel)
“Ford v Ferrari” (20th Century Fox)
“Spider-Man: Far from Home” (Sony Pictures)

What are your favorite films, performances, and technical aspects from 2019? Share in the comments below!


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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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